JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Commercial production has started at London-listed Hochschild Mining’s Inmaculada mine, in south-west Peru. The mine, which Hochschild believed would be its chief operation for a number of years, had produced about 25 000 oz of gold and 622 000 oz of silver since the first dore was produced in early June. The mine was expected to produce between seven- and eight-million silver-equivalent ounces this year and between 12- and 13-million silver-equivalent ounces in 2016 at a forecast all-in sustaining cost (AISC) of about $10 per silver-equivalent ounce. “We expect that, with high production levels at a very competitive AISC, Inmaculada will be the company’s key mining operation for many years to come. “Further, we remain excited by the strong geological potential at the deposit and in the surrounding district, which will provide a source of additional growth to this world-class mine,” said Hochschild CEO Ignacio Bustamante.
Meanwhile, the company also reported on Tuesday that it had discovered a new vein – Pablo – at its Pallancata mine property, also in south-west Peru. The new east–west vein is expected to lead to a significant expansion of the mine’s mineral resources and substantially improve the operational outlook for the Pallancata mine. “This important discovery at our 100%-owned Pallancata mine confirms our historic confidence in the long-term potential of the deposit and in the district as a whole. The Pablo vein has the significant advantage of being within our property and, with its proximity to our current infrastructure, the capital required to access the vein is expected to be low,” said Bustamante. Hochschild noted that there was sufficient capacity at the Pallancata operation’s plant, Selene, to process the new higher-grade material.